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Old Jan 6, 2005, 11:25 PM   #1
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I want to express my gratitude to everyone who contributes on these message sites. You have really helped make my decision more complicated but far better than I could have on my own.

My wife and I are planning a trip to New Zealand in May and I want a good digital camera to take good scenic photo's. I began two weeks ago thinking about purchasing a Kodak 6340 that Costco has for sale and since then I have learned more and got interested in about 5 other cameras before settling on the Panasonic FZ3. Whew! I am worn out and my head hurts from trying to absorb all the information and comments out there in cyberspace. But it's wonderful being able to pick the brains of much more qualified people than I in the world of photography without wondering if they were just tellingme their views because they wanted to make the sale and commission from me. Sorry for the long prelude but I just wanted to get that off my chest.

My question is this. I will be ordering the FZ3 from one of the camera websites for between $318 to $340 depending on who I can trust. They all offer packages that include:

multimedia card reader, deluxe carrying case, deluxe lens care and maintainence package, 512 mg High speed SD/MM memory card, and BP002bl high capacity battery.. for about $180.00

Should I buy them bundled like this or buy them separately? I am wondering about price and quality.

Also is there anything else you would recommend for my camera to take along on my trip?

Thanks again

Jim





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Old Jan 6, 2005, 11:33 PM   #2
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Hard to tell but $180 doesn't seem unreasonable to me for the accessories you describe. In your case, I would probably want to get everything "in the house" so you're set for your vacation. It's Jan now but we both know May will be here before you know it. Also, what ya gonna save anyway... a couple bucks, meanwhile hours wasted doing comparison shopping for all these items... plus you will probably save more with one large, rather than indivdual, ala carte shipping charges.

One thing I would highly recommend is a UV haze filter. Most posters - including myself, keep the included adapter on the camera with a haze filter on at all times. This keeps dust and finger prints off the lens and provides general protection. It's double-y important with any camera in this line because as the lens assembly extends and contracts when you power up or turn the camera off, it can easily pull dust and dirt into the camera and lens.
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 2:02 AM   #3
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Thanks Nick,

That seems like a simple solution.. I also like you idea of the the haze filter. Good insurance..

Thanks again.

ps. The toughest decision for me was the fz20 or the fz3. It came down to the convenience of taking a smaller camera along on side trips. I usually always opt for the better quality more expensive when deciding when I have two choices for a purchase, so this was tough.
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 8:37 AM   #4
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greyguy wrote:
Quote:
multimedia card reader, deluxe carrying case, deluxe lens care and maintainence package, 512 mg High speed SD/MM memory card, and BP002bl high capacity battery.. for about $180.00

Should I buy them bundled like this or buy them separately? I am wondering about price and quality.

Also is there anything else you would recommend for my camera to take along on my trip?

Thanks again

Jim


Greyguy,

The items you have listed in the accessories are all very nice to have. However, I do think you can do better on price in the long run if you buy them separately. It looks to me like they are charging full retail for the battery and memory card, then basically tossing in the other stuff for free because they are low margin items anyway.

You can get an SD card reader for free after rebates from officemax. 512 cards can be had for under $50 after rebates if you shop around. You may or may not like the case, but you should be able to get one for about $20 that you like. The battery is worth about $60 and lens care kits are a dime a dozen.

You won't save a ton of money but you will be able to get exactly what you want if you look around. It really depends on how much time you want to spend on these items. If you have the time, I'd pick them up later.

I know you will be very happy with the FZ3, I sure am.

-Brett

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Old Jan 7, 2005, 9:45 AM   #5
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greyguy....I just ordered an FZ3 from http://www.vanns.com (in Montana) for $329.99 (no tax and free shipping). And , I bought 2 Kingmax SD 256MB 60x memory cards from http://www.newegg.com for $55.72 ($22.95 each and $4.91 S&H each).

Iordered the cards at 5PM EST on Jan 4 and they arrived via FEDEX yesterday Jan 6 at noon.

Haven;'t received the camera yet. I ordered it Jan 5 and Vanns sent me the UPS shipping tracking number yesterday and it's due to be delivered Jan 12.


btw....I went through the same thing as you....digital overload....trying to decide on a camera. My final picks were also the FZ20 and FZ3 and I opted for the FZ3 primarily because of it's size and the type of photography I do. Typically 4x6 prints, 5x7 now and then and rarely an 8x10. I do alot of bass fishing and I wanted something with a bigzoom for nature shots from the boat, record the "big one" that didn't get away :lol:, but small enough that I would want to carry it with for other events and ocasions.

This forum and the DCResource forums have been a tremendous help to me in making my mind up on what to get. Thanks to all the "experts" here that take the time and effort to answer all of us novices questions. Believe me, it's truely appreciated.




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Old Jan 7, 2005, 10:24 AM   #6
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I have the FZ3 and found the "perfect for me" case at....drum roll....Wal Mart.... for $15. The brand is Icon and everything goes right in. Cables zipped in the top, camera goes in vertically, with extra battery/charger and cards in the front compartment. Got an extra battery from Circuit City for $35, after rebate. Office Depot had a SanDisk 512 card for $40 after $40 worth of rebates. Think you can find a card reader for around $20. Was lucky when digging around in 35MM stuff and found and extra 55mm UV and polarizing filters. Think you will like the FZ3 very much. Have attached a picture of the case.
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